12 year old signs a National Letter of Intent to join Boise State football for a day
They were by far the smallest guys sporting blue helmets and jerseys Wednesday, but they were the biggest stars at Boise State’s practice.
Teaming up with St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, the Broncos honored two local children as Broncos for a day.
Twelve-year-old Reece Bass and 14-year-old Nikko Worthington got the star treatment from the team, hanging out with players on the sideline and signing mock letters of intent to join the Broncos.
Worthington called in a play, and Bass, playing quarterback, was initially supposed to hand the ball off, but kept the snap for a touchdown run. After he scored, Bass was put up on the Broncos’ shoulders in celebration.
“It feels pretty good, feels like I met some new family members,” Bass said. “... They treated me pretty well.”
Players chatted up the kids throughout practice, and Bass got a few passing tips from Boise State strength and conditioning coach Winston Venable, who played six seasons in the NFL and CFL. Bass has autism and had a brain operation a few years ago. His mother, Tanya, said it was his first time throwing a football.
Worthington was diagnosed with a malignant tumor last year, just four months after his mother, Kristen, was diagnosed with breast cancer. They’ve battled together, and both are faring well. Nikko has one more chemotherapy session remaining. A huge football fan, this was a special experience.
“That’s exactly what he’d want to do any day,” said Nikko’s father, Rick.
Bass got to break down practice with the quarterbacks, Worthington with the running backs. The latter gave some words of advice to his new friends, who joined him for a post-practice interview, words he follows himself daily.
“I want them to keep fighting, work for their goals,” Worthington said. “... I’ve just got to keep a (good) mentality, don’t let things get to me and keep fighting, go through it day by day.”
Said sophomore running back Robert Mahone: “It’s great to be able to give back, give kids an opportunity to be part of the team. They’ll remember it forever.”